Originally opened in April 1992 as Euro Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris is one of the most visited attractions in all of France, and some say within all of Europe. It was the second of the international Disney Parks to open and has been a popular destination for travelers and Disney fans worldwide. Although it’s called Disneyland Paris, it’s actually located in the town of Marne-la-Vallee, about 20 miles east of Paris’ city center.
Today, Disneyland Paris includes two theme parks – the Magic Kingdom-style park and Walt Disney Studios Park, which opened its doors to guests in 2002. If you are planning a visit to the Disneyland Paris Resort, here are seven not-to-miss attractions.
Without a doubt, Disneyland Paris’ Space Mountain: Mission 2 attraction is the biggest departure from its counterparts that can be found at the other Disney Resorts. Disney fans will instantly notice the vastly different exterior, but the differences do not end there. This was the first Disney coaster to feature multiple inversions and starts with a pretty dramatic cannon launch. Get there early and hope for a Fastpass as this ride experiences long lines, especially on weekends.
Disneyland Paris’ answer to the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Tokyo Disney, Phantom Manor is worth riding at least once, or maybe five times. It may bear some initial similarities when you first get inside, but those dissipate quickly as you find yourself immersed in a mining-themed ghost tale.
One of Disney’s most popular and all-time favorite attractions, Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris doesn't disappoint. Many die-hard Disney fans prefer Disneyland Paris’ attraction because it combines the best of the US Disney Parks with Disneyland’s longer ride version and Walt Disney World’s more exciting queue.
Not seen at any other Disney Park around the world, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is a walk-through attraction featuring your favorite Alice in Wonderland characters, water jets, and curving hedges in this tricky Queen of Hearts maze.
The French name for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Le Chateau de La Belle au Bois Dormant stands 167 feet tall, taller than its counterparts at Disneyland California and Hong Kong Disneyland. Disney guests love the walk-through attraction that retells the Sleeping Beauty story through stained glass windows and tapestries. The best is La Taniere du Dragon – an Audio-Animatronic dragon.
Head over to Walt Disney Studios Park to one of the more unique lands at any Disney Theme Park --Toy Story Playland – opened in 2010. Disneyland Paris was the first park to feature a Toy Story Playland and right now, Hong Kong Disneyland is the only other Disney park to feature this land. The main ride is RC Racer, which can command some lengthy lines during peak times. The ride draws its inspiration from the “Hot Wheels” toy cars with a looming halfpipe that sends guests flying up into the air at 90-degree angles and the subsequent free-fall back down.
One of the other “must-ride” attractions at Walt Disney Studios Park is Crush’s Coaster. It’s the only spinning roller coaster in a Disney Theme Park and was the first “thrill” ride to be based on a Pixar movie. This cool coaster takes guests to the underwater world of Finding Nemo and makes you feel as though you are swirling through the currents of the sea.
Are you excited to add Disneyland Paris to your bucket list?
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Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
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